The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee - Read Online
The Right-Brain Business Plan
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Millions of artists, entrepreneurs, crafters, and solopreneurs dream of making a living doing what they love. But turning their vision into a viable business plan can feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Jennifer Lee knows what it’s like to make the entrepreneurial leap—and how to do it successfully. The key is showing creative types how to use—rather than stifle—the imagination and intuition that make them creative in the first place. Lee’s illustrated, colorful worksheets and step-by-step instructions are playful yet practical, enabling readers to get down to the essential business of defining their vision and nailing down plans for funding, marketing, networking, and long-term strategy. Both budding and seasoned business owners will benefit from Lee’s wonderfully original approach.Discover how to:

• Develop a financial plan with fun and flair

• Select your circle of support to get the work done

• Clarify your business values and goals

• Paint a picture of your business landscape

• Understand your competition and what makes you stand out from the crowd

• Identify your perfect customers and create a marketing plan to reach them

• Map out concrete action steps to bring your Right-Brain Business Plan to life

Published: New World Library on
ISBN: 9781577319450
List price: $19.95
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More Praise for The Right-Brain Business Plan

Like to know how to get paid to do work you love that matters? Buy this book. It’s an imaginative way to visually map out your business so you can see what you need to do. Keeping your goals in sight and in mind will keep them top-of-mind. Read it and reap.

—SAMHORN, The Intrigue Expert and author of POP!

Who doesn’t procrastinate just thinking about planning? Crack through your resistance and get your business rolling by following Jennifer Lee’s great tips for engaging your imagination and your intuition.

— ERIC MAISEL, author of Mastering Creative Anxiety

Jennifer Lee successfully captures the energy, creativity, and passion that go into starting your own business. The advice she gives through both illustrations and text help make the dream of hanging your own shingle very real and very exciting.

— CAITLIN FRIEDMAN, coauthor of

The Girl’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business

"Creatively smart and inspiringly intelligent, The Right-Brain Business Plan is a must-read for any entrepreneur who wants to tap into the power of both sides of their brain. You’ll jump with enthusiasm into the parts of your business you have avoided for far too long!"

— CHRISTINE ARYLO, MBA turned inspirational catalyst

and author of Choosing ME before WE

Creatives, unite! Finally, there’s a way you can be gloriously you — and have a plan you love to work from. Move over, spreadsheets — this is business planning for the rest of us.

—ANDREAJ.LEE, CEO of The Wealthy Thought Leader

This is one of those rare books I cannot wait to mark up, get paint on, and really use (vs. those that stay on the shelf intimidating me). If you yearn to do your own thing but believe you can’t because you’re too creative or intuitive or disorganized or whatever, stop that voice in your head right now and listen to Jennifer Lee’s funky, delightful, seasoned help instead. If I did it, and all the people Jennifer has helped did it, you can, too.

— JENNIFER LOUDEN, author of The Life Organizer

"The Right-Brain Business Plan provides a framework for the creative entrepreneur who needs a nudge in the right direction with easy-to-follow suggestions, ideas, and tips to kick-start a new successful business."

— FAYTHE LEVINE, director of Handmade Nation

Jennifer has crafted an inspiring, informative guide for bringing creative entrepreneurial dreams to life in living color. She encourages us to see our work as art and have fun along the way. A must for all aspiring and experienced business owners’ bookshelves.

— KIMBERLY WILSON, creative entrepreneur and author of

Hip Tranquil Chick and Tranquilista

"Are you a brilliant, intuitive entrepreneur who feels like a frustrated ostrich with your head in the sand? Jennifer Lee can help. With The Right-Brain Business Plan, she not only makes the world of business accessible to creative types but also shows us how to supercharge our superpowers so we surpass the left-brain competition. Viva cultural creatives!"

—KAREN SALMANSOHN, author of How to Be Happy, Dammit

As we move into a time when creative visionaries are needed more than ever, Jennifer Lee’s joyous, natural, and advantageous tools are more helpful than ever. Who says you can’t rock Wall Street and wear purple at the same time? Jennifer Lee opens the door for artists, healers, and brilliant souls to take their passion into the marketplace — with precision and the ultimate creativity of realizing all their dreams.

— TAMA J.KIEVES, bestselling author of This Time I Dance!:

Creating the Work You Love,

The Right-Brain


The Right-Brain


A Creative, Visual Map for Success



New World Library

Novato, California

Copyright © 2011 by Jennifer Lee

All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, or other — without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review.

The material in this book is intended for educational purposes only. No expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of the use of the recommendations can be given nor liability taken. This book does not guarantee any business or financial results, nor does it guarantee financial backing. Please consult legal and financial experts.

Illustrations by Kate Prentiss

Text design and typography by Tona Pearce Myers

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Lee, Jennifer, date.

The right-brain business plan : a creative, visual map for success / Jennifer Lee ; foreword by Chris Guillebeau.

p.  cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-57731-944-3 (pbk. : alk. paper)

1. Business planning. 2. Creative ability in business. 3. Creative thinking. 4. Entrepreneurship. I. Title.

HD30.28.L438 2011



First printing, February 2011

ISBN 978-1-57731-944-3

Printed in Canada on 100% postconsumer-waste recycled paper

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

This book is dedicated to right-brain entrepreneurs everywhere

who are courageously pursuing their creative passions. You rock!


Foreword by chris Guillebeau


This Is Not Business as Usual

How Using Your Creative Intuition Will Make You More Successful in Business

Chapter 1

Starting from the Top

The Skinny on the Right-Brain Business Plan Process and Structure

Chapter 2

Crafting Your Business Vision and Values

Where Is Your Business Headed,

and What Do You and Your Company Stand For?

Chapter 3

Painting Your Business Landscape

It's a Big World Out There — Where Do You and Your Business Fit In?

Chapter 4

Getting the Word Out with Marketing

Find and Connect with Your Perfect Customers

Chapter 5

Managing the Moola - Color by Numbers

Develop a Financial Plan with Fun and Flair

Chapter 6

Corralling Your Creative Cohorts

Build a Creative Playground of Business Support

So You Don't Have to Go It Alone

Chapter 7

Action Planning - Where the Rubber

Meet the Road

Make Your Plan Real with Goals, Strategies, and Action Steps

Chapter 8

Weaving It All Together

Put the Finishing Touches on Your Right-Brain Business Plan

Chapter 9

Maintaining the Magic and Momentum

Keep Your Right-Brain Business Plan Alive



Featured Right-Brain Entrepreneurs



About the Author


More than a decade ago, I said farewell to the world of conventional work and struck out to start my own business. Full speed ahead! I ordered coffee from Jamaica and sold it to connoisseurs in the United States and Canada. Over the next several years, I built a number of other small businesses that allowed me to travel and pursue my other passions. I never went back to the real world of employment, and what a thrill it’s been.

There was just one problem: in those early days, I had no idea what I was doing. I faithfully bought a stack of business books and learned as much from them as I could. But whenever I encountered spreadsheets, financial statements, or graphs, I always turned the page as quickly as I could, or just closed the book entirely. Aside from Make sure the income is more than the expenses, I never really had a business plan. Everything worked out in the end, but if I had known more about creative business planning in the beginning (without all the spreadsheets), I’m sure it would have been a lot easier.

It’s too late for my coffee business, but it’s not too late for you. In this brilliant book, Jennifer Lee shares how she always thought of herself as a creative but only recently as an entrepreneur. This illustrates an un-necessary it has to be one or the other limitation that many of us right-brain types apply to ourselves. Can you really be a creative entrepreneur? Yes, you can, and here’s your field manual. When you do it on your terms instead of someone else’s, running your own shop is fun and meaningful. Every day presents new challenges, and you don’t have to close off the creative part of your personality to navigate them.

Jennifer’s work also brings a sense of joy and adventure to a traditionally mundane process. If you think of business planning as boring, well, you haven’t read this book yet. If your eyes glaze over at financial forecasts, you have nothing to fear from these pages. As far as I can tell, The Right-Brain Business Plan contains exactly one spreadsheet. (It’s on page 115 and isn’t scary at all.)

In our globalized, connected world, it has never been easier to start and run your own business. The basics are simple: You need to sell something that people want to buy. You need to practice good Moola Management, as Jennifer would say. You need an operating plan, a strategy to get the word out, and a good idea of the kind of growth you’d like to see.

The Right-Brain Business Plan contains ideas, tools, and exercises to help with each of these areas. This is not business as usual. It’s fun, creative, and purposeful. If you’re looking to start or improve a small business without getting lost in the planning, you’ve arrived at the right place. Jump right in!

— Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity


This Is Not

Business as Usual

How Using Your Creative Intuition Will Make

You More Successful in Business

Welcome, my fellow creative right-brainer, to a fun, new way of approaching business! If you’re like me, the very thought of boring business plans, confusing financial statements, and anything resembling a stodgy Wall Street suit makes your skin crawl.

I used to think that creativity and business were worlds apart, especially after a decade of diligently climbing the corporate ladder while I stuffed my underappreciated creative spirit into the corner. When I finally listened to my heart and took the bold leap of quitting my day job to follow my dreams full-time, I discovered a much better way to live and work. Once I fully embraced entrepreneurship, I understood that creativity and business go hand in hand, beautifully.

The Right-Brain Business Plan maps my personal journey to joyfully integrate creativity and business in my own entrepreneurial endeavors. I’m excited to share this approach with you. Whether you’re just starting out or have owned your company for years, the exercises in this book will empower you to reach magical new levels of business success as you pursue your creative passions and make your unique mark in the world.

When it comes to you and business, I bet your default analytical left brain has had enough. It’s been under too much pressure to figure things out, and let’s face it, you’re tired of your left brain trying (desperately) to run the show. Well, guess what? In this book, you get to make best business buddies with your artistic, visionary right brain. You’re invited to fully embrace your creative nature in the realm of business. Your natural right-brain gifts of imagination and intuition can actually help you find fresh solutions to your business challenges and can enable your ventures to grow in ways you never dreamed possible. You have permission to create wildly. To not be bound by what makes sense. Isn’t that how the most innovative ideas emerge?

If you are in business for yourself, you are indeed an entrepreneur, even if you don’t call yourself one. Just like any large company or corporation, entrepreneurs need a business plan. Sure, it may not be as complex, lengthy, or dull (thank goodness) as the business plan of a multimillion-dollar Fortune 500 organization, but it is still vital to the health of your business.

Think about it. If your business plan is a road map to your success, then not having a plan is like driving without directions to an unknown destination — yikes! You will refer to your business plan on a regular basis so that you can check where you are against your goals and adjust your course if necessary.

This book is for you if you’re bored by business planning, if you find the process daunting, or if you’re too busy doing what you love to bother with complex spreadsheets or lengthy templates. When planning seems unappealing, it doesn’t get done, and that can derail your business. In fact, the Small Business Administration estimates that 50 percent of small businesses in America fail within their first five years. Lack of planning is often to blame. The Right-Brain Business Plan helps you beat the odds by providing an enjoyable, accessible, and visual approach to clarifying the big picture for your business and to developing a plan of action that will help you get the job done.

If you’re a budding business owner or even a seasoned entrepreneur, you’ll benefit from this playful yet practical approach to turning passion into profit. Like other right-brain entrepreneurs, you might be in one of the following creative and heart-centered professions.

• You might be a creative entrepreneur, such as an artist, graphic designer, crafter, photographer, Web designer, jewelry designer, interior designer, writer, marketer, or other freelancer.

• You might be a solopreneur in one of the helping and healing professions, such as a life coach, therapist, counselor, consultant, professional organizer, teacher, leader of a nonprofit, acupuncturist, chiropractor, holistic health counselor, energy worker, yoga or Pilates instructor, or massage therapist.

• You might be an aspiring entrepreneur who is transitioning from the corporate world to working for yourself.

Or, maybe you simply know that you want to infuse fun and play into your professional work.

The left brain and the right brain bring different, equally important gifts to the table. In the business world, you’ve probably relied on your left-brain logic to help you achieve professional success, often at the expense of your right-brain creativity. This book, however, gives you permission to let your right brain lead the way.

So what, exactly, is the difference between left-brain and right-brain thinking? Don’t worry; you won’t get an anatomy lesson here. But if you’re interested in learning more about brain science, take a look at Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s fascinating memoir, My Stroke of Insight, in which she shares her personal account of getting to know her right brain better after suffering a stroke.

The rest of us can think of it this way: You’re a left-brainer if, when you’re making an omelet, you read the recipe from start to finish before you even start cooking. You gather all of the ingredients ahead of time. Then you chop the onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers into precise quarter-inch cubes and place them in separate small prep bowls, then measure the half cup of cheese. Finally, you set the timer for exactly three minutes to cook the eggs.

You’re a right-brainer if you open the fridge and get inspired by some vibrant red bell peppers and the scent of fresh